Health officials may grant quarantine clearance (pratique) provided the following are true.
- The Advance Notice of Arrival form is received within the prescribed time; and
- A No Change of Health Status is received within 12-24 hours of arrival; and
- The Medical Officer of Health or a Health Promotion Officer is satisfied there is no quarantinable disease or other public health threat on board the ship.
[Reference: The Health (Quarantine) Regulations 1983 - regs.13(1) and 13(2)]
A ship with an illness on board that is not a quarantinable disease, or does not constitute a grave danger to public health, will usually be granted pratique. The local medical officer of health will liaise with the incoming ship prior to arrival to determine whether any measures, such as supporting infection control or contact tracing, are required to manage potential public health risks.
Advice that pratique has been granted must be given to the ship’s Master and agent. Copies should also be provided to other parties such as harbourmaster and/or pilot, New Zealand Customs and the Ministry of Primary Industries.
Once pratique has been granted, the vessel and crew are treated the same as those in New Zealand (in terms of public health controls). The Master of any ship in any New Zealand harbour, who has a reasonable suspicion that any person on board has a notifiable infectious disease must notify the local Medical Officer of Health accordingly. This is a requirement of the Health Act 1956 (Section 76). The Maritime Declaration of Health lists symptoms that are grounds for suspecting an infectious disease. Local public health officers will provide advice and support to the Master to manage anyone who on board who has a suspected infectious disease.